Pass (on) the Soy Sauce

This is really, really disgusting and definitely sounds like a job for KIKKOMAN:

By producing soy sauce from such raw materials, the producers were said able to cut costs by half. Workers employed at the plants, however, never bought soy sauce marked as “blended” on the packaging, because that usually meant that human hair was the basic material in the sauce.

Chinese cost reduction at its best. Read the whole article. I, for one, love locally produced shoyu. I just bought a big sake bottle full of home-brewed stuff they sell at a local market.
Cosmic Chowhound tip of the day: Keep soy sauce in the fridge as it prevents it from breaking down into dark bitter nastiness. Same thing goes for ponzu and mirin, two other common Japanese flavorings.


I figured it was about time to really let you know my feelings about your bowels… There is definitely something wrong with them. Today I walked into the men’s restroom with no intention other than spraying down the urinal with golden love, but the smell emanating from your stall brought tears to my eyes. Tears, man – it was that bad. Just what the hell are you eating for breakfast? Besides onions and cheese, that is. Those were fairly obvious. Did I also detect a hint of garlic? I can’t be sure, because the stall next to you was also being used, and I’d never blame an innocent man for another person’s fumes.
Now, before you make your reply, I want you to know that I am fairly well-versed in this subject. I have pondered deeply on my ceramic chair of thought for hours on end about related issues (in between finishing three issues of Popular Science or Motor Trend, that is). I know, for instance, that my best efforts on the throne can cause immediate evacuation of my house and the surrounding area, yet never really bother me. I think everybody develops a natural resistance to the smell of their own shit; for guys this can even sometimes be a special attachment or, dare I say, fondness (damn, it feels like betraying Guild rules writing these words). Indeed, I feel that “separation anxiety” is a commonly understood yet unspoken factor in the peculiarly male-centric habit of bathroom reading.
But, my friend, even factoring in the effects of people always thinking that their own shit don’t stink (and by extension, thinking that everyone else’s smells more), your performance today blew the top off the stankometer. Moldy, rotting, pungently torturous, what-the-fuck-crawled-up-and-died, posilutely THE BOMB stanky. Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined had nothing on the steamy pile you bequeathed to the company plumbing. And it wan’t just me who thought so – one of the cleaning ladies walked in to scrub the urinals donning elbow-length rubber gloves and a white surgical mask, took 2.5 steps into the room, and upon encountering your sarin death fumes, abruptly performed an about-face and exited.
When I left the john, she was standing outside trying to explain to her boss at the cleaning cart why it was a good idea to take out the trash today before cleaning the restrooms, without actually referring to your anal atomizing. She looked to me for support as I passed by, and all I could say is, “oof,” while trying to clear my nostrils.
Dude, your tapeworm collection is rotting or something.


Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
(Hat tip to my dad for the e-mail)


One of the rites of passage in an Asian American household is fighting with your sibling for the eyeballs of the fish served up for dinner (assuming one large whole fish shared by the whole table, as opposed to smaller fish that provide eyeballs for each person). What I definitely do not remember is fighting over fish balls. Must be a SE Asian thing.
Photo taken in the Thai Town area of LA.


SUNFLOUR.jpgHa! After those last posts, we need some happyhappyjoyjoy around here! LOOK AT THIS PIC! UNBEREAVABLE (Interestingly enough, this oft-heard-on-Jap-TV-pronunciation could be an actual word if spelled like this.)!
Two words are the reason for my joy regarding this photo: No filters.
And no, I am not referring to my work for tobacco companies.
Although my phone does have photo editing capabilities, in fact it’s a virtual “Photoshop XLE” (sorry for the geek reference), I have not – to this point – employed any graphis filters or otherwise done any editing to the photos on this moblog. Mainly because it’s hard enough to get good photos as is. These photos are hard enough to see cuz they’re SO DAMN SMALL that a solarized image of my car just might end up being mistaken for, say, a picture of Gray Davis orally gratifying Ann Coulter at the Pirates of the Caribbean (ride, not movie).
Having said that, I will have to experiment more with my phone and post some edited pics here as long as there’s no danger of being accused of posting cyberfelch.
Then again, Net Nanny hates me anyway.

I, Enki

Dude. This is my greatest accomplishment in years. I inadvertently stumbled onto two Neal Stephenson short stories YOU NEVER EVEN KNEW EXISTED.
Spew is on the WIRED site, but I guess I just never found it until now.
I am posting the entirety of the Great Simoleon Caper in the extended entry of this post for posterity, because I can’t find it on a server I trust to keep it up forever.

Continue reading “I, Enki”

Nitsuj Adihsoy

Well, that’s the first time I’ve spelled my name backwards for a long, long time. The last time was in 5th or 6th grade when my best friend Ben Stebbing insisted we call each other by our own names backwards. He moved to England the next year and the last time I Googled him I determined he was either dead or in a Liverpool mental hospital. (Ben, if you are alive and have access to the net, speak up my friend.)
What spurred this memory today? It ties into the best news I’ve heard all week:
In my past life I was known as J.U.S.T.I.N.,
the Jaded and Unbelievably Socratic Tibetan Ironmonger of Nubia
And all this time I thought Tibetans had a natural resistance to hemlock…
It only gets better: C.B.U.D.D.H.A.,
the Civilized , Brazenly Underrated Dogcatcher Drudge Hindi from Araby
Hat tip to J-Walk Blog

Where’s me brolly?

Well, it looks like Typhoon #2 (Japanese don’t follow the western convention for typhoon naming – on one hand, I suppose it’s kinda nice not having to admit that your cities got “battered by Alice” or “ravaged by Gertrude”) – is coming straight for my island tonight. Last time a typhoon came by I had to drive over the bridge between here and Kobe, and it was like the movie Twister in that I just had to crack my window to see just how strong the wind was blowing. In an instant, every loose toll receipt, shopping bag, hamburger wrapper, etc., whipped out the window as if we were at 30,000 feet and if I’d had the foresight to attach GPS trackers to everything, I probably could have mapped out the eye of the storm (I guess that makes my Silvia “Dorothy” in this analogy but I won’t go there.).
The weather today is what I like to call, “fungus-inducing.” Basically, this is the kind of humidity that causes jungle foot, crotch rot, and the downfall of western civilization. You actually feel dryer in the shower on days like this. I might as well spend the night in there since big storms usually destroy my satellite reception and the last one screwed with my FTTH connection as well.
It totally cracked me up when my Aussie pal told me what a brolly is. And a sultana (as in, “Sultana Bran”). Thanks to William Gibson, I know what a standover is. Damn, I really need to visit Australia sometime soon. After I buy a D70, I think.